Even If Mother Interferes With Visitation, Father Gets No Reduction In Child Care Costs
- April 28, 2015
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Goni v. Tchistiakova, is a case that came out of Sussex County, in which the Defendant appealed from a post-judgment Order denying her application to compel the Plaintiff to contribute to their son’s after school care expenses and that before the Defendant could file another application the Plaintiff’s parenting time had to be significantly expanded. The Appellate Division reversed the decision of the Family Court. The Defendant filed a summary action with the Family Court, pursuant to Rule 5:6-1, to modify an existing child support Order in the hopes of compelling the Plaintiff to contribute to their son’s after school care expenses. The court instructed the parties to attempt to solve the issue themselves. At that time the court heard the Plaintiff’s request for additional parenting time and noted that the Defendant should “expand” the Plaintiff’s parenting time, as well as that of his extended family, before she should get any additional expenses from him. The Defendant appealed. The Appellate Court reversed the decision of the Family Court holding that the lower court failed to provide a reasonable basis for denying the Defendant’s request. Unless there are circumstances that excuse a parent from paying child support, a parent must contribute to work-related day care expenses. See NJ Child Support Guidelines. In this case, there was no evidence presented indicating that the Plaintiff was relieved of his duty to contribute. Next, even if the Defendant interfered with the Plaintiff’s parenting time, his obligation to pay support would not be relieved because a “parent’s responsibility to support [his] child financially cannot be lessened by the other parent’s interference ‘with rights of custody or visitation granted by a court.'” Pascale v. Pascale, 140 N.J. 583, 592 (1995); Ross v. McNasby, 259 N.J. Super 410, 414 (App. Div. 1992). Finally, there was no application submitted to the court requesting an expansion of the Plaintiff’s parenting time. Beyond that, unless a grandparent or sibling has filed an application and a court has issued an Order directing visitation with them pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1, then family members are not entitled to visitation. If you are considering a post-judgment modification of your child custody or parenting time arrangement or financial obligations it is imperative that you seek out the advice of an experienced attorney before moving forward. For more information about post-judgment modification , divorce, alimony, child custody, parenting time, or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way is intended to replace the advice of an attorney.